Buitoni Riserva Wild Mushroom Agnolotti

Posted on April 24, 2009. Filed under: hodgepodge, review |

From time to time, the good people at Foodbuzz send me free samples. The idea is that since I (theoretically!) have good taste, I can report back to the vendors about their products. I like this. Free things are nice, and I do (actually) have pretty good taste. However, sometimes the enjoyment of reviewing free samples meets an impassible boundary. In this case, it’s my deep dislike of mushrooms.

So when the good folks at Buitoni sent me a sample of their Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, I was in a jam. Must do my duty as free sample reviewer, mustn’t eat hated mushrooms. I decided to solve this problem by splitting the task- I would do everything but the eating.

The cooking directions for the agnolotti – basically a large ravioli with a fancy name – are simple, boil for 4-6 minutes. I like the quick cooking time, but I don’t like that Buitoni suggests adding oil to the pasta water- it’s a big no no in pasta cooking. Step two of the Buitoni process states that “our premium pastas are do delicious, just toss with extra virgin olive oil,” so that’s what I did. Simple.

On to the taste tester. Tester reported that mushroom flavor was pronounced and very earthy. They found the flavor generally balanced, but a little on the salty side. Texture was good, especially considering the pasta was made to be refrigerated for a fairly long time period. They thought the just serve with olive oil claim was a bit bold, it could have used at least a little garlic. (To be fair, the olive oil instruction does end with “or one of our fine Buitoni sauces,” but, if you’re going to make a claim that simply oil works, you better back it up!) “Better than your average refrigerator case pasta” was the final verdict.

The “Riserva” brand is Buitoni’s high-end line, and that’s reflected in the Wild Mushroom Agnolotti ingredients. Everything looks to be of good quality- there are actually a lot of mushrooms in it, and there is a noticeable lack of high fructose corn syrup & preservatives. Good for you Buitoni! It is a very rich dish, however (6g saturated fat, 25% of your daily cholesterol), so I’d suggest either serving in smaller portions or only enjoying occasionally.

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